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Lost something precious (computer troubles)

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  • Lost something precious (computer troubles)

    I have a deeply invested habit of going back through my internet browser history and making a record of web pages that I visited. Let's me recall things that I've seen and watched, remember some forum experiences here and elsewhere, and generally see the emerging pattern of my life. It's something that I've done, in one form or another, for the whole time that I've had personal laptops, my entire adult life. The history settings for this one stores things for three months to the day, meaning that's generally how far behind I am (particularly within the last couple of weeks, since an update to my computer greatly improved the degree to which it comes when I call it, for Microsoft Edge).

    Now, unfortunately, the means by which Edge deletes history entries is just by clicking on an X that appears at the far right of entries when they're highlighted, or that permanent hangs at the edge of titles for time categories (everything past two weeks ago being lumped together under 'Older'). If you click on it, it's entry just disappears in an instant; it doesn't ask for confirmation on whether or not you want it deleted. When I've opened a lengthy category and scroll down, that means that the X is hovering right next to the button to scroll the page up. That's always made me a bit anxious, having the two of them so close together, so I've always been very cautious with lining my mouse cursor over the button for scrolling up.

    Earlier this evening, I was in the process of collecting my history as usual. It shouldn't have been particularly urgent; I was a day ahead, so it all would have been there waiting for me if I had come back in the morning, or otherwise later on in the day. But no, I wanted to save myself a bit of work in the future, so no matter how many times I told myself "this is fine, you can leave it here", I just kept pushing it a little bit further.

    And because of the heat of this awful, despicable, God-forsaken season of the year, my hands are frequently sweating. And I'm sure many of you know how moisture messes up using a mousepad; causes strokes and taps to not really register properly, meaning that fine control of the mouse cursor is messed up, that it might jump around a bit, and register something as a left-click when you didn't intend it to.

    So the last three months of my browser history is just gone; everything after the first week of April and before the last week of June. Just a whole big chunk of my life torn away from me, taking with it a neat little record of my thoughts, interactions and experiences. I've desperately tried searching around for anything suggesting a means by which it could be recovered, or otherwise viewed in the computer's memory, or if it was stored in the cloud and could be observed through that, searched to the point of utter exhaustion, but it would appear that there's no recourse. It's gone completely beyond my ability to reclaim it.*

    And I'm just... devastated. Stuff like this has happened before, especially back when the Edge history would basically never come up (and when it apparently functioned in a manner of holding up to three months worth of history and then resetting entirely), but for close to a year now I had a handle on it and was able to have an almost unbroken chain of recording. And when I'd lose big pieces of my browsing history before, it was always because of some kind of technical issue, some external interference, or some circumstance that would keep me away from it. The majority of those times, it's only been a couple of days to a week, and while with Edge I would lose big chunks for viewing the history being so ineffectual, that's not been the case for so long.

    And this time... this time it happened because I couldn't leave well enough alone. I couldn't be satisfied for the moment, and patient, and willing to spread the effort across a slightly longer period of time. I wouldn't listen to myself when I said that it was fine to leave it for a few hours. And while a lot of the fault still lies with the utterly pathetic manner in which that system for deletion is designed, a major part of it still comes from a manner in which my body betrayed me.

    It's gone, and it's left me drained and wounded and defeated. I don't know what to do with myself. I'm tremendously upset.

    * Even if there was some software or method of getting into the computer's workings that could pull it back out, it's almost certainly beyond my basically non-existent computer literacy to enact, or even understand, and would repel me for fear of causing some kind of very real damage even beyond not knowing where to begin.


    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
    Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

  • #2
    Maybe try a browser history forensics tool like https://www.foxtonforensics.com/browser-history-viewer/ ?

    Comment


    • #3
      Possibly, but that falls into the area of lacking technical expertise. I'm trying to recruit a sibling's friend to assess and implement it.

      I either need that, or to have absolute confirmation that it's gone forever and I need to move on, because the limbo I'm currently in means that right now I'm a hollow shell of a man.


      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
      Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

      Comment


      • #4
        I did some light research and saw a MS customer service rep say that once you delete Edge browser history it is gone forever.

        So these types of third party tools might be your only recourse.

        Good luck! I know how this sucks!

        Comment


        • #5
          Isator, are you currently seeing a therapist? I am being very sincere about this.

          You've been going on about how a minor inconvenience has completely devastated you, on multiple forums, for three days. This is not a normal reaction. Please seek help.


          Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPGJenna Moran's PatreonRobert Vance's Patreon

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rand Brittain View Post
            a minor inconvenience
            If a person had kept a diary documenting their life for ten years, and then some random carelessness caused a sizable section of it covering a period of no small import to become incinerated, would you dare to insult that person by diminishing the significance that the loss held to them?

            Multiple forums? Two forums. The two forums; my primary online social outlets on which a significant amount of my time is spent, and on which I have no small amount of presence. Two forums that, owing to their relative lack of crossover, does not make repeating my woes separately a redundant matter, any more than it would be to tell the same anecdote to different social circles rather than waiting until they were all gathered in the same room.


            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
              If a person had kept a diary documenting their life for ten years, and then some random carelessness caused a sizable section of it covering a period of no small import to become incinerated, would you dare to insult that person by diminishing the significance that the loss held to them?
              Probably not. But that didn't happen to you. The problems you have described are not even one-tenth-of-one-percent as important as losing ten years of diary entries. They are basically trivial. The fact that you are clearly deeply unhappy as a result is a sign that something is off in your emotional balance.

              I'm going to be frank, because at this point, why not. You do this all the time. Every little thing is some grand emotional extravaganza with you. Holden and John getting fired without anybody warning you was a very upsetting lack of courtesy. People disagreeing with you about Exalted characters was a horrifying, wounding affair that damaged your faith in humanity. Today you are a broken shell of a man because you lost some browser history.

              This isn't normal.

              I've lost data before. Ever since I got kicked out of RPGnet's Backstage as a result of irrelevant internet power politics of years past, I've occasionally reflected on all the conversations with former friends and juicy industry gossip that I now no longer have access to — just increasingly inaccurate memories going rotten in my brain-meats. Sometimes I idly mourn these lost memories.

              Then I get over it because I am a grown-up. If you are not able to do this, something is wrong with your emotional regulation mechanism, and you need to get someone to help you give it an overhaul.

              I am saying this entirely without judgment. Nobody needs to feel guilty or weak because they're dealing with mental health issues. But recognizing that you have a problem, and seeking help, is the only thing that can make your pain end.

              I often enjoy your posts, or find them useful. But nearly every time you've come to my attention in the past year or so, the result has been my saying "Uh, is Isator okay?" And really, it's okay that you are not. Nobody is okay, because hahaha seriously look at absolutely everything right now. I'm making an appointment with a therapist on Monday.

              Please get help.


              Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPGJenna Moran's PatreonRobert Vance's Patreon

              Comment


              • #8
                Isator,

                I don't know your history and situation. I have noticed your tremendous presence on this forum over the years. I hear that you are very upset over losing the chance to save your history.

                As someone who has gone to therapists over the years I can say they are very helpful. Learning to put things in perspective was and is a very hard battle for me, just in a different context.

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